Your Guide To The Precision-Centric Ukrainian Manicure

We know, we know. There's quite the vast array of different manicure techniques out there, and keeping up with them all can be tougher than you might think. But we're here to help keep you in the loop. One of the newest nail maintenance techniques gaining a lot of attention in beauty world is The Ukrainian manicure. Yep, the European country has its own unique take on how to treat the nails — and it only seems to be growing in popularity all over the globe. Over on the likes of TikTok and Instagram, photos and videos showing the process of a Ukrainian manicure and the finished results have racked up millions of views. And, we have to say, the results are pretty stunning.


But what exactly is a Ukrainian manicure? And how is it any different to getting a manicure inspired by France or Italy? Well, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the Eastern European manicure technique to work out whether or not it could be your new go-to.

How a Ukrainian manicure is different from other techniques

So, let's get into it. One of the most notable ways a Ukrainian technique is different to any other style is the attention to detail. While U.S. manicures often involve a hand scrub, nail trim, and filing, the Ukrainian-style approach takes things a step further when it comes to nail care.


"The Ukrainian manicure is of the highest standard and it involves precise cuticle work. In fact, our masters use a 'combi' manicure technique," Yana Galiyeva and Maria Sharova, owners of So.Shell, a Ukrainian nail bar in London, told Refinery29. Said combination manicure technique involves the use of an electric drill that buffs the nails. Buffing will get rid of any ridges, any old polish, and other imperfections. 

Once that's all done, the manicurist then polishes the cuticle with a drill to get rid of any dry or dead skin. They'll even cut away any other parts of the cuticle that are looking dry or untidy. "Precise cuticle care and removal leads to manicure longevity and optimal nail health. This meticulous manicure technique involves prepping the nail perfectly before polish application using an e-file and different drill bits to buff the nail bed," manicurist Ami Streets explained.


When it comes to color, a typical Ukrainian manicure will consit of a gel polish. When applying it, the manicurist may take extra care to create a strong finish by layering the gel on the weakest part of the nail, finishing the look in a super smooth way.

It has plenty of more long-term benefits, too!

One of the main draws to such a meticulous manicure is that it promises result will look clean, polished, and professional. The other added bonus is that it's also long lasting. "With a focus on detailed cuticle care, the Ukrainian manicure aims to give the ultimate high-quality mani experience," Ami Streets told Refinery29. "This thorough technique means a well-prepped nail surface, which translates into a long-lasting, clean, and edgeless application."


Beauty TikToker @reneesdays also stands by the technique, pointing out in a video in that removing all the dead skin and adding nail oils keep your nails moisturized and looking their best much longer. "If [you're] tired of having to get your acrylics redone every week and a half then this is the manicure for you," she explained.

Another reason we love this manicure trend? There are so few rules when it comes to the end product. Though something like a French manicure has a very identifiable look at the end, with a Ukrainian manicure, it's more about the preparation than it is the finished product. Typically though, a Ukrainian mani is clean, so it tends to suit a more neutral polish shade for a chic finish. If that's what you opt for, that means you can get a little more time in between nail appointments, as you're less likely to notice re-growth.


But always make sure you're doing things the right way

Because of the potential for nail and cuticle injury, a Ukrainian manicure is best performed in a professional, sterile environment with a properly trained individual.

Though it may be tempting to DIY a Ukrainian mani to save money, the last thing you want to do is attempt this nail style without any proper training. Nor do you want to go to someone who has no experience with this technique. As skin expert and aesthetician Alicia Lartey pointed out to Refinery29, using scissors and nail drills could also very easily pierce the skin or result in infection. "As a beauty professional, anything that involves the risk of blood should require wearing gloves and disposing of contaminated tools properly, as well as proper sanitation protocols," she shared.


Damaged cuticles can be detrimental to both your nail health and future manis. "They serve as protection against microbes; cuticles protect new nail growth against bacterial and fungal infections. They are a critical natural barrier close to the nail matrix," nail expert Emmanuelle Dieudonne explained to Vogue India. "Nails are most susceptible to damage during their early growth phase; if the cuticle is damaged, the nail will be damaged as it grows." With that in mind, it's probably for the best to invest the money and let the professionals handle it.